I have snapshots of memories from my grandmother’s bathroom where her ‘beautifying’ took place, so when No.7 asked me to share some generational memories, I felt so a happy to do so because they’re such joyful ones. My grandmother and my grandfather lived in a house where there was no central heating and relied on fires in each room to keep it warm. Upstairs was like an igloo! However, the bathroom had an electric heater, so when my mum, sister, brother and I were staying with them, the bathroom was the upstairs hub with all of us congregating at the same time in there before breakfast. My aunt lived there too, so at the time, counting my grandad covering his modesty with copious amounts of bubble bath because he liked a morning bath, there would be seven of us crammed in there, plus two dogs and two cats. It’s only now that I am remembering that my grandpa was the only person I’d ever seen do a hand razor shave – my dad had an electric razor – and I know even when I was small that I thought it highly risky!
My grandma had a huge chest of drawers called a tallboy, overflowing with towels, but in the top two drawers, she kept her beauty products. Access to these drawers had to wait until I was tall enough to look in them and when I finally got there, it was a chaotic cavern of gold tubed lipsticks, powder compacts, rouge pots, cold cream and oils, plus a tattered old styptic balm for when my grandpa cut himself shaving.
It was my aunt that laid down the importance of cleansing. She had a huge vat of cold cream that she slathered on at night to get rid of the day’s makeup. I remember she used tissues to take it off because cotton wool was too expensive and was highly disapproving of my grandma’s crystal glass jar that contained cotton wool balls. My grandpa thought this was a ridiculous notion because soap and water would do just fine, and she was a secretary not an actress so there was just ‘no need’. My mum had a bright denim blue eyeshadow that my auntie thought was ‘showy’, but my mum said because she wore glasses she needed bright eye shadow, and my grandma’s newest lipstick – a blue-toned fuchsia -caused all the hilarity because it made her look short of oxygen.
So, it was in that chaotic, noisy, sociable bathroom that all my concepts of beauty began. I can see now that what made my Grandma ready for the day was a dusty powder applied too liberally with a fluffy puff and a streak of garish lipstick. My mum went large on eye colour (way too large!) so it ‘showed through her glasses’ because that was her way to be properly dressed and ready, and my auntie, with her copious slathers of cold cream every night and morning was convinced this devotion was the reason for her beautiful skin. I can so easily see the No.7 Serums slotting into that morning mayhem bathroom scenario with my grandpa offering the useful aside, ‘lick of soap is all you need’ every five minutes just as he did with all their beauty buys. I can see just how thrilled they’d have been with them; how excited to have them in their getting ready routine.
So, a little about the No.7 Serums. I think my auntie’s choice would be Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum for firmer, more even skin tone and plumping. My mum’s would be Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum. My grandma would have headed straight for Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum, specifically for older skin. With a two week promise to see real and proven results, I know there would have been much chatter and inspecting of complexions.
In the time I’m sharing my memories of, there weren’t really any skin creams that could do what skin care can now. Because what happened in that bathroom, every day, because their beauty routines were the very beginning of being ready for whatever the day held and because they were so much a part of our family visits, I wish I could wind back the clock and slot the products in there, just to listen to the conversations.
I recognise a part of all their influence in my own routines.. I do make up every morning as standard like my grandma did and my mum still does; rarely a day passes when I don’t put on something – I’m simply not ready without it. And, like my auntie, it all starts with skin care. I know what I learned from them, from those mad mornings covered in dogs and my grandad surrounded by a bubble cloud in the bath, muttering, ‘lick of soap…’ and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
There’s a Twitter Chat with @wearethirtyplus (#Generation30Plus #No7Ready) talking about generations, skin care and beauty routines on Thursday evening (13th April) – find us and join in! There are 10 bags of No7 Beauty to be had. Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum is £27 HERE. Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum is £28 HERE (it’s the newest and the one you’ll see most about – it has an age guide of 60+ but it’s only a rough guide) and Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum is £23.95 HERE.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.